There are not many better and heated rivalries in NBA history than the one between the Detroit Pistons “Bad Boys” and Chicago Bulls from the late ’80s-early ’90s. The Pistons were the reigning champions, hesitant to just hand over their crown to the new team in town, which was the Chicago Bulls led by Michael Jordan. It was the perfect setup for numerous battles that often ended in many altercations and fights between the teams because of the rugged style of play Detroit epitomized at that time.
One of their key guys and toughest players was, without a doubt Rick Mahorn. The 6’10” center was far from the most skilled player, but his impact was felt in a big way, as he spent some of his best years with the Detroit Pistons, serving as the enforcer and bruiser in the paint, winning the championship in 1989. Like the rest of his teammates, Mahorn got a bad reputation due to their “dirty” style of play.
The most memorable memory of the whole Detroit-Chicago rivalry happened in 1991 when the Bulls finally managed to get over the hump and eliminate the Pistons in the Eastern Conference Finals, with a clean 4-0 sweep. It was the symbolic passing of the torch, as Jordan and the Bulls finally became the best in the East, while the Pistons had to face reality, accept defeat, and the fact they are not the best anymore. That didn’t sit too well with them, as they stormed off the court before the game ended, not shaking the Bulls’ hands and going into history as one of the most memorable moments in NBA history.
It would leave a bitter taste in the mouths of all the Detroit players, as this was the end of the “Bad Boys.” But still, even 30 years later, time hasn’t healed the wounds, as the members of that Pistons team are showing no remorse or regret for their actions, as Rick Mahorn said loud and clear, he has no intention of apologizing:
“F— them…I don’t even shake hands when I lose a championship. Man, forget that.”Rick Mahorn, via Dan Le Batard Show with Stugotz
It’s safe to say, Mahorn stands by his decision, just like all of his teammates. They knew what they did and why they did it, so even though it is unsportsmanlike and a representation of a sore loser, at least they are staying true to themselves and their decision, in real “Bad Boys” style. On the other side, MJ isn’t really worrying about the event too much; as he stated during the “Last Dance” documentary, it is water under the bridge. Still a hilarious statement from Mahorn and a flashback to when things were much different in the NBA.
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